Sinningia araneosa tuber

Most tubers give an impression of life even when they are dormant.  They may have shoot buds or an obvious growth area or just a healthy color.

Not so Sinningia araneosa.  This tuber looks like a dead husk every winter, but so far it has sprouted every spring.

This picture was taken in February 2003.

This shows multiple shoots from a tuber of Sinningia araneosa.  This picture was taken in June 2005.

One thing a photograph can't convey is weight.  Most tubers have a heft to them, presumably due to stored water.  This tuber is very light, as if it were mostly air, and this contributes to its feeling of deadness.

In February 2006, I weighed a Sinningia araneosa tuber (80g) and measured its volume by the good old Archimedes-Bath-Eureka method (140 ml), to get a density of 4/7 that of water.  That's light!  By contrast, a tuber of S. 'Peninsula Belle' x self weighed 180g with a volume of 175 ml, giving a density almost exactly that of water.